Cappellaci con Zucca
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 butternut squash (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
- 2 amaretti cookies, preferably Lazzaroni, finely crushed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/4 pounds pasta sheets
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Coarse salt
- 12 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roasted, peeled, and finely chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a baking sheet with olive oil. Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet, and bake until tender but not brown, about 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.
Peel squash, discarding skin. Transfer squash to a colander. Top squash with a plate and a heavy object to weight, and refrigerate until it no longer gives off any liquid, about 5 hours.
Measure 2 cups squash. Reserve any remaining squash for another use. Transfer squash to a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash squash to remove lumps. Add cheese, cookies, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix to combine. Reserve 1/4 cup filling; you will need this to make the sauce.
Lay a sheet of pasta on work surface. Using a spray bottle, spray with a light mist of water. Cut pasta into 3-inch squares with a knife or pizza wheel. Top each square with one teaspoon filling. Fold each square into a triangle to enclose filling, and press edges lightly to seal. With the apex of the triangle pointing away from you, gently pick up the triangle, and wrap the two points around your index finger. Stretch the triangle just enough so that the two ends form a cross. Press two ends together with your thumb to secure. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pasta. If not cooking immediately, refrigerate on a lightly floured baking sheet for up to 2 days.
Prepare a bain-marie. In a small bowl, combine butter and 1/4 cup water. Place bowl over bain-marie. When butter has melted, add reserved filling, and whisk to combine thoroughly to form an emulsion. Keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cappellacci, and cook until centers are soft and folded sections are al dente. Remove with a strainer to a large bowl. Add sauce, and stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine. If sauce is watery, reduce in the top of a double boiler. Stir until thickened.
Place a 2 slices prosciutto on each of six plates. Top each with twelve to sixteen cappellacci. Sprinkle with nuts, additional cheese, and pepper. Serve immediately.